Forum on Environmental Accreditation

February 3 – 7, 2020
Newport Beach, California

The 2020 Forum on Environmental Accreditation occurred from February 3-7, 2020 in Newport Beach, California.  A total of 345 attendees were present.  The conference program below contains presentations, documents, and summaries of various meeting that are available.

Monday, February 3

Tools and Resources for Implementation of the TNI Standard
Jerry Parr, TNI

TNI Annual Report
Alfredo Sotomayor, Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District

Laboratory Quality Systems Expert Committee

Committee Chair:  Jessica Jensen, Meridian Analytical Labs

This group held two sessions plus a small group meeting on Technical Director Qualifications.  One session identified areas of the module to work on and the other reviewed SIRs.

Tuesday, February 4

Whole Effluent Toxicity Expert Committee

Committee Chair:  Rami Naddy, TRE Environmental Strategies, LLC

The committee reviewed the most recent proposed concept for analyst initial demonstration of competency (DOC) and also discussed whether or not chemistry support measurements need to be accredited if reported (no).  They will review the entire WET module (V1M7) against the Quality Systems module (V1M2), but settling on changes to those two major items has been the most important thing to resolve before moving forward.

WET Committee Presentation
Rami Naddy, TRE Environmental Strategies

Assessment Forum: Working with Third Party Assessors

Session Moderator:  Judy Morgan, Pace Analytical Services

Overview of the CA Assessment Program and What to Look for in an Assessor
Mitzi Miller, NV5/Dade Moeller

The ILAC Signatory Process and the TNI Approval Process - Credentials and Requirements
Judy Morgan, Pace Analytical

TNI Non-Governmental AB Overview
Nick Slawson, A2LA

Understanding the ANAB Accreditation Process
Zaneta Popovska, ANAB

International Accreditation Service
Mohan Sabaratnam, IAS

Perry Johnson Laboratory Accreditation
Tracy Szerszen, PJLA

Laboratory Proficiency Testing (PT) Expert Committee

Committee Chair:  Nicole Cairns, New York State DOH

This lively session gave an overview of the committee and its activities and solicited feedback on the 2016 PT standards.  Since the new PT scoring was implemented on January 31, they reviewed the PTRL reporting and evaluation scheme.

Proficiency Testing Program (PTP) Executive Committee

Committee Chair:  Maria Friedman, CA State Water Resources Control Board

The committee discussed major issues pending for 2020 and clarified the PT reporting scheme as implemented on January 31 for attendees.  The major issues are implementation of the two-technology division for MNP PTs (tubes and wells) and addressing Analyte Request Applications (ARAs) for qualitative Aroclor PTs and reporting of isomers for PTs where multiple isomers exist.  Also, an ARA proposal to establish a radiochemistry non-potable water FoPT table awaits review.  CAS numbers have been added to all FoPT tables and the resolution of the above ARAs will be followed by updates of all FoPT tables during 2020.

Microbiology Expert Committee

Committee Chair:  Robin Cook, City of Daytona Beach EML

The committee finalized the implementation guidance for blanks and an email vote will be initiated.  After that, they opened the floor for discussion of prior issues and items to be updated in the next revision of the standard module.

Mentor Session: Rule your Records!   Quick and Easy Tips for Achieving Documentation/Record Compliance

Session Moderator:  Dorothy Love, Eurofins Environment Testing

Rule Your Records, containing these presentations:

WHY this is important and the value it brings to the lab
Dorothy Love, Eurofins Environment Testing

WHAT documents and records mean – which is which, how are they different?
Silky Labie, ELCAT, LLC

HOW to maintain documents
Nick Straccione, EMSL Analytical, Inc.

HOW to maintain records
Pam Schemmer, Eurofins TestAmerica, and Michelle Wade, A2LA WorkPlace Training

Example Documents from the Mentor Session

Wednesday, February 5

Advocacy Committee

Committee Chair:  Steve Arms, Florida DOH (Retired)

The committee discussed the draft Strategic Plan items assigned to Advocacy, particularly developing a mentor program, and case studies of findings that affect data quality.

Advocacy Committee Presentation
Steve Arms, Florida DOH (Retired)

Case Studies of Non-Conformances to Module 2, Section 4: Quality System Requirements

Case Studies Documenting Quality Management System Issues in Environmental Laboratories
TNI Advocacy Committee

Laboratory Accreditation System Executive Committee (LASEC)

Committee Chair:  Judy Morgan Pace Analytical Services

After reviewing the committee’s activities for 2019, Bob Wyeth gave an update on progress in revising the Consensus Standards Development SOP 2-100, which led to good discussion, and prompted conversation about revising the SIR Management SOP 3-105 (especially expectations for timeframes) and the need for a separate SOP for Implementation Guidance documents.  Dan Hickman gave an update on the generic application and some changes in LAMS.  The Chair explained the survey that LASEC hopes will help with understanding whether significant timeline non-compliance exists within the AB community.

Laboratory Accreditation System Executive Committee Presentation
Judy Morgan, Pace Analytical

National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (NELAP) Accreditation Council

Council Chair:  Kristin Brown, Utah, DOH

The Council reviewed the implementation status for the new standard, for all ABs present, discussed LAMS issues with Dan Hickman and then discussed PT issues needing resolution with the PTPEC Chair, Maria Friedman.

Field Activities Committee

Session Moderator: Marlene Moore, Advanced Systems, Inc.

The committee hosted a web presentation by its Chair, Scott Haas to discuss the committee’s purpose and activities, and its revision of the standard.  They focused on the revision of Volume 1 of the FSMO Standard and considered scopes of accreditation for Volume 2.

Field Activities Committee Presentation
Scott Haas, Environmental Testing, Inc.

How Accreditation to the TNI Standard Improved My Laboratory

Session Moderator:  Stephen Arms, Florida DOH (retired) 

Our Road to TNI Compliance
Bruce Medhurst, Mammoth Community Water District, Mammoth Lakes, CA

NELAP Accreditation:  A Municipal Laboratory’s Experience
Mary Johnson, Rock River Water Reclamation District, Rockford, IL

Accreditation and Laboratory Improvement
Stacie Crandall, Hampton Roads Sanitation District, Virginia Beach, VA

Importance of TNI Accreditation
Nan Thomey, Environmental Chemistry Services, Houston, TX

TNI for Small labs
Tiffany Adams, Snyderville Basin Water Reclamation District, Park City, UT

Laboratory Improvement through Accreditation
Mychel Johnson, Blue Ridge Analytical, Wytheville, VA

Chemistry Expert Committee   

Committee Chair:  M. Valerie Slaven, Valerie Slaven Consulting Services

This working meeting had good attendance.  They discussed calibration for pH data, which might arrive as an SIR, and then focused on discussion of Technical Manager qualifications and terminology, since many labs are struggling to meet the current requirements with staffing.  Two SIRs were discussed and responses approved, then potential modifications to the module of the standard were discussed, especially DOCs.

Laboratory Accreditation Body Committee      

Committee Chair:  Carl Kircher, Florida DOH

The committee continued working through comments from the Outline of Proposed Changes and draft V2M1.  Some language needs to be developed and reviewed to address a few comments and the recommendations of the Field Activities Task Force need to be reviewed for possible inclusion, but the next step will be publication of the VDS later this year.

Laboratory Accreditation Body Committee Presentation
Carl Kircher, Florida DOH

Thursday, February 6

Asbestos Committee

Committee Chair:  Myron Getman, New York State DOH

This meeting had a small but active audience.  The committee described where it is in the standard development process, with the comment period on the Notice of Intent to Revise the Standard (NOI) being closed and a draft Voting Draft Standard (VDS) has received initial comments.  Posting of the actual VDS may be delayed, depending on ANSI’s response to TNI’s submitted corrective actions that are presently under review.  In any event, the VDS will be presented at conference in August.

TNI Asbestos Committee Presentation
Myron Getman, New York State DOH

Radiochemistry Expert Committee

Committee Chair:  Terry Romanko, Eurofins TestAmerica, St. Louis

This was not a working meeting but rather a review of the committee’s activities, including membership, Technical Manager qualifications and revisions to V1M6 that are underway since publication of the NOI last year.  The next step is publication of the Outline of Proposed Changes and a draft module for comment, with a public meeting (probably a webinar) planned for April 23.  The final training session of the five-part series will be offered at the end of conference.

Radiochemistry Committee Presentation
Terry Romanko, Eurofins TestAmerica